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Tohá toughens his tone and reiterates that “there is no detected threat from Hezbollah in Chile”

The Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Carolina Toháaddressed this Wednesday afternoon the alleged links between Hezbollah and companies in the Iquique Free Trade Zone.

As he was able to gather Thirdthis is an investigation for money laundering that arose as a result of a report from the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) on the possible existence of a commercial link between the group and a company that operated in Iquique.

This, after Ex-Ante revealed that there is currently a confidential investigation by the Tarapacá Prosecutor’s Office in which the alleged operations of Hezbollah in the north of the country are investigated.

From the National Congress, Tohá toughened his tone and assured that there is no detected threat from the Lebanese Shiite group in national territory.

“First, I can assure you, and we have said it many times, that The government of Chile, the police, the intelligence agencies, follow up on these issues permanently. We do it with our own sources of information, but also through the cooperation and exchange we have with friendly countries,” he said.

And then he added: “Today there is no detected threat from Hezbollah in Chile.”

However, the Secretary of State maintained that “That does not mean that this issue is constantly monitored and that there may be many investigations by the Prosecutor’s Office where issues of this type give rise to various procedures being carried out, information being gathered and background information being sought.”

“This is how a serious country manages to keep these threats away, investigating any data that may represent presence, influence, links with these types of organizations”he stressed.

The details about these alleged links of the Lebanese group in Chile would be part of the confidential report that the Minister of Security of Argentina, Patricia Bullrichdelivered on April 25 to the minister Tohaduring his visit to the country within the framework of the National Business Meeting (Enade) 2024.

The information presented by Bullrich – as published at the time by El Clarín – shows the presence of the Barakat clan in the region, which, as indicated, one of them, Hatem Ahmad Barakat was designated by the United States, alleged financier of Hezbollah, linked to the terrorist attack on the AMIA in 1994.

The document – according to the aforementioned media – indicates that Barakat “he traveled to Chile to raise funds for Hezbollah, and in early 2003, he was reported to be a major shareholder in at least two businesses in Iquique, Chile.” And that his son, Ali Hatem Barakat would legally reside in national territory.

When asked if the Executive was previously aware of the information contained in Bullrich’s report, and if it was aware of the Public Ministry’s investigation into possible Hezbollah links in the north of the country, the head of the Interior was emphatic:

“All these things that have been known all refer to the same situation that has been known for years in Chile and that has been investigated in different ways and investigations continue. They all refer to the same thing. It is a case known several governments ago, which has had different aspects of investigation and search, and on which various antecedents are handled, but In particular, the investigations of the Prosecutor’s Office are not handled by the government, and I cannot talk to you about that because only the prosecutor knows about it.”

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